Why Taking a Break from School Was One of the Best Decisions I’ve Made so Far

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this roughly a year after landing in the US. Another year and a half passed since then but finding it today on my old laptop, I thought it might be worth sharing with you. I tried to go through the text and fix some sentences, maybe try to get my point across more clearly but some parts were left untouched simply because I didn’t know how to rewrite them.

Also, not a single part of this text was meant to be somehow extremist or conspirational (the part about elites for example), sometimes, I just didn’t know how to get my point across.

Thank you for your time and patience with me and my English. Now, let us begin;

So… they told you not to leave your school. They have probably told you that you would have so much time to do the stuff later, after finishing the university. Maybe they have told you that after some time spent by not going to school and not sitting behind these old scratched desks on these old hard chairs would take away the advantage of being already in the process. Yeah. They have told me the same. And you know what? I was a good girl. A few days after the fourth year of my high school was over,…

I walked out of the JFK Airport in New York, a bit over 6.5 thousand kilometers away from everything I knew. The slightly salty air filled my nose (It smelled so good!) and I felt like a queen. Especially for not throwing up in the aeroplane.  It was my first ever flight. I think I might give it it’s special article one day because it’s probably worth sharing.

 

This wasn’t any summer work with a plan of coming back to Czech to start studying like all of my past classmates except for me and Kate. I’m not going to lie – it’s not like that I didn’t get accepted to any college – I didn’t even bother to apply for one.

Yes, yes, I hear you all now. How dares she! How can she write this like if it was something good! I’ll give you the answer. I can write this like if it was something good because it is something good.

I knew that if I had started studying at some university, I would have hated myself for the rest of my life. Because I knew that I would never be able to leave and have the courage to live and work somewhere far away, behind the ocean, after finishing the uni. I knew it in my heart. It was now or never.

I would love to write that I was terrified by this whole idea of leaving my family and everything I knew behind and going to the country where people don’t even speak my mother language. (But let’s be honest, where in the world besides Czech do people speak Czech? Nowhere.)

I would love to write that I had my doubts during the time on the plane and long after. I would love to write I was crying so hard that I couldn’t even see when I was giving goodbye to my family and loved ones.

Yes, I would love to give you some dramatic story. (Don’t we all love those? No? No, we don’t, right?) But the truth is that I was completely calm. I wasn’t terrified by that idea and felt that I was doing the right thing. I didn’t have any doubts on the plane about my future life (let’s skip the doubts about the plane itself), and I wasn’t crying while giving my family goodbye. I know, that part is a bit weird. I myself don’t understand that part. I dropped exactly two tears while hugging my sister. (And those were a bit forced – “you should be feeling something you piece of rock!” – to be honest.) That was it.

 

Now, a year later, I can finally think about school and without having goosebumps and feeling sick. Honestly. I think I know what I would like to study. I didn’t know that before. Now I would be probably studying to be a teacher. The point is that I strongly disagree with our education system. Would I be happy as a teacher then? I don’t think so.

And why teacher? Let’s get real here. I wanted to study to be an author. (For your information, in Czech we choose our future field when we go to high school, not after it.) But when I told about that to my parents, I was told to choose something wiser, something that I can make a living with. Graphic design? No, I was told I didn’t have enough talent. Garden architect? Not useful. Not enough money. Not enough talent. I didn’t dare to mention arts academy. So I chose to be a teacher. I mean, I had this idea in my head since 6th grade, so why not?

I was happy when I received my letter saying I have been accepted. How sheepish. But I’m happy it has happened. It has happened for a reason. It has helped me to get here, where I am today.

It took me this whole year to accept what I love. I love to be creative. I need to be creative. And I need creativity to be a necessary part of my future job. Now, I am brave enough to go for what I love. Now, I am brave enough to go for what I feel is right. Not for what others tell me is right.

And this is why getting rid of the “advantage of being already in the process” was the best decision I’ve done in my life so far. Now, I hope you know that if I ever call being in the system an advantage, I’m being very, very, very sarcastic. Because the system doesn’t want us to be us. – a long and possibly conspirational part about the system and elites followed, I got rid of it for the sake of… not getting arrested, I guess? –

Who knows how it all works. Maybe running out of the system put me in some other. It probably did. Maybe we can never run away from it. Oh, gosh, I should stop with this reasoning, it’s just gonna give us all some kind of a life crisis.

 

Just to make it clear. I’m not saying that staying in the school system is bad. Maybe it can make you happy. I just know it would never make me happy. If you feel like it’s the best for you (for YOU, not for your surrounding!), then do it! If you know what you want to do and if you feel it’s the right thing for you to do, go for it!

But if you are like me, please, don’t push yourself to do something you know would break you as a person just because your teachers, your parents or whoever these people are, are telling you it was the right thing. Only you are with yourself 24/7 and only you have to live with yourself each and every nanosecond of your life.

And I don’t want you to live with the feeling that you missed something. Or that you are doing something you don’t like. Or that you failed in being yourself.

I think my grandma have already forgiven me that “betrayal of our family”. If this is your case; they will forgive you, too. And if they don’t,… who cares? But it would be much harder to forgive yourself after decades of living some life that is not truly yours, but your parents’, teachers’ or whoever else’s.

I hope you are living your own life.

Love,

Pina

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